• Several questions for Masami Shiraishi

    How has the role of galleries changed in the last decade?
    Many artists we represent have established their global presence over the years. On one hand, we feel proud of our achievement, but this change has created competition with other international galleries. So we now invest even greater effort to promote artists—including those who are under-represented, not limited to younger generations. With my 40 years of experience working in the Japanese contemporary scene, I’d like to project this pride into the next 10 years. I hope our newly established art space will become a platform for future leading artists.

    What is the most challenging part of running a gallery?
    As artists come up with new ideas for exhibitions that no one has done before, we—as those who support realization of their projects—have our own challenges. We challenge ourselves to find new solutions as we support and realize those projects. I also really like this whole process of meeting artists, discovering their talent and working together to accomplish their vision.

    How would you describe the relationship between your gallery and the artists you represent?
    Mutual trust.

    Can you recommend cool hidden places in Tokyo?
    Komagome Soko is an experimental space made especially for young artists and curators, located in down town Tokyo. It has taken many proposals for performances, video screenings, talk sessions and a fashion show. I find a lot of excitement in working with artists in this way, free from the market structure. Asakusa is run by a young independent curator showing a range of unique projects from all over the world. The space is a renovated traditional Japanese house in Asakusa, in Old Tokyo.

    What is your favourite place for lunch near your gallery?
    Uenosakuragi Atari is a stone’s throw away from the gallery. It’s an old private residence built in 1939 that is renovated into one complex of workshops and small stores. One of them is Yanaka Beer. After visiting our gallery, you should stop by for a sip of local craft beers in a traditional Japanese wooden house.

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